The polysilicon market is still in wait-and-see mode this week. Although polysilicon prices in general stay unchanged, the market still saw manufacturers’ attempt to increase prices for polysilicon for mono-Si wafers and lower prices for polysilicon for multi-Si wafers. Since only a small number of transactions have been made in mid-June, manufacturers are unlikely to unveil price quotes until the end of this month.
Judging from the estimated utilization rate, the total polysilicon supply in June will increase by 7% from May, of which, supplies of polysilicon for mono-Si wafers will decline significantly. Fortunately, the shorter supply will have little impact on supply and demand temporarily as polysilicon companies that are conducting maintenance still have enough stock. However, once inventory level becomes lower in July, polysilicon for mono-Si wafers will witness substantial changes in supply and demand, which is why the price is believed to be trending upward. On the other hand, prices for polysilicon for multi-Si wafers are expected to stay constant or go down following increasing output in June and July.
Multi-Si wafer prices are kept at the previous level of RMB 1.9/piece and USD 0.255/piece. Prices are unlikely to change significantly before China’s grid-parity projects are given the go-ahead. As for mono-Si wafer, prices are basically adjusted every month, yet, top-tier manufacturers may adjust prices in late June as supply shortage intensified.
It is expected that supply of mono-Si wafer won't be able to meet demand in the second half of the year, giving cast mono the opportunity to grab market share. Since GCL is the only supplier that mass produces cast mono at the moment, prices in general are based on GCL’s price. According to market sources, cast mono is priced at RMB 2.6-2.7/piece for 157mm and RMB 2.9/piece for 158.75mm. Although price difference will widen as wafer size enlarges, 157mm is more common at the point. Meanwhile, overseas wafer prices have stayed constant. As overseas demand for mono-Si wafer demand is still increasing, overseas companies without long-term contracts or small and medium sized cell makers will be suffering from more serious shortage.
Prices of mono PERC cell remain stable at RMB 1.18-1.21/W in China. In Taiwan, PERC cell prices also stay at USD 0.175/W, which represents the “high price” of mono PERC.
As PERC capacity will continue to increase in Q3, module makers will put more pressure on cell prices. However, since PERC cell demand is kept at a high level, the standoff between buyers and sellers is expected to persist through July. Yet, the actual price trend will depend on price negotiation at the end of June, a time when overall demand for July becomes clearer.
With prices of conventional multi-Si cell staying constant at RMB 0.89-0.9/W, manufacturers are waiting to negotiate prices for next month at the end of June. In Southeast Asia, prices for conventional multi-Si cell are rising toward USD 0.128/W or even higher.
Module prices have remained stable during SNEC PV Power Expo 2019. As the market saw a continued increase in the cost of module BOM and a possible rise in glass prices, the conventional multi-Si module market that is less profitable may be the first to raise prices once Chinese demand bounces back in the second half. Owing to continued strong demand, mono-Si module prices are likely to stay constant in Q3 despite mono PERC capacity is still climbing.
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